I really enjoyed the Terminator* movies as a teenager. In the science fiction plot line machines take over in the not-too-distant future, and the remaining humans are forced to resist and fight for survival, being led by John Connor. Throughout several movies, terminator cyborgs are sent to the late 20th century from the future to kill Connor before birth, as a child, and as a teen- eliminating (terminating?) their future struggle against the humans. Obviously they are unsuccessful. Connor’s mother, Sarah, is seen preparing John to lead the future war in T2. I believe similarities can be identified when reading 2nd Timothy and the Terminator storyline.
Like the movies which foresaw a future apocalypse with a remnant of mankind fighting for survival, the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy about a future world: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:1-5a).” Paul saw the day where society would degenerate while evil people would go from bad to worse (3:13). Like Sarah Connor, Paul instructed and trained Timothy and the future church about how to approach these coming days.
Paul clearly stated persecution would come for those who choose to obey Jesus Christ and live for Him (3:12). Our response today must be to obey Jesus Christ- whatever the cost, by remaining strong in the Word, rooted and prepared for difficult times. After recognizing that evil will increase, he instructs Timothy to “continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from who you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:14-15).” He continues, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (person) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Scripture must remain our foundation during this spiritual war, present and future. We must know it, we must obey it, and we must teach it. Through it we will know the Lord, understand how to live a righteous and pleasing life for Him, live as ambassadors for Jesus Christ by proclaiming the gospel, and instruct those coming after us to obey Him.
As a dad of a one and a half year old, I realize the world Nathaniel grows up in will be far different than in the one I experienced. Increased difficulty and persecution will most likely come in his lifetime. Like the fictional Sarah Conner character who saw the storm coming and prepared her son, Danielle and I must prepare Nathaniel for difficult days ahead. We pray for his salvation at an early age and a heart devoted to serve the Lord all of his life. May we train Nathaniel to serve Him and one day change the world in the midst of dark times for the glory of the Lord and the furthering of His kingdom. Finally, we all must be preparing for coming days of difficulty and persecution by growing in our knowledge and understanding of His Word.
*By referencing the Terminator movies, I am not advocating their viewing. Some of the content may be objectionable and not promote the mind of Christ.
Originally posted as a Facebook note in May 2012. Updated and revised.